today I handed over a piece of my new project to my publisher.  if you’re any kind of a creator you can relate to the feelings involved, which are similar to those of a parent whose newborn child is on display.

possibly worse than being the parent is to be the viewer:  dare we speak our truth?  um, gee, that face is red and squishy, and the cheeks are out of proportion, and all those wrinkles around the eyes aren’t very attractive . . . the hair’s a mess, and yikes, look at her scrunch up her face and turn bright red and oh God, here comes a wail . . .    no, we try to find the positive and focus on that.  we put ourselves in the mind and heart of the parent and say, she’s beautiful.

as I handed these 4400 words over this morning, I told my publisher I’d already imagined a slew of responses he might have, considered what those might do to me and my project, and decided that I was going to keep moving forward anyway . . . so I handed the papers over.

and now I feel like I loaned him my baby.  he might come back with responses meant to mollify me, stroke me, encourage me.  he may say things that make me want to grab my baby back and never give it to him again.  he might be honest, and I may or may not like what he has to say.  it doesn’t really matter:  I will keep writing what I need to write.

I hope he likes it, of course.  I hope he thinks it’s fantastic.  but I also know that whatever he says I will hear through a parent’s (and a creator’s) self-protective, love-filled bubble.  I will listen, take in as much as I can, keep on writing, and subtly adjust as time goes on and the words flow through.

today I handed part of my baby to a relative stranger, and I’m waiting for him to tell me what he thinks of it.

I’m not holding my breath, but I am, however, gently holding my heart.